Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Cosmopolis Movie Poster Image
Intense, brilliant, and complex, but not for Twilight fans.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Cosmopolis is a dense movie with many different but timely ideas about the differences between the wealthy and the lower classes. The wealthy main character has enough money to try to buy perfection, but he finds he can't have it and still longs for something -- even if it's pain. His journey isn't very clear, but it appears that he's beginning to ponder the "beauty of the lopsided." Either way, the movie is likely to inspire discussion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models; these wealthy characters are unhappy and selfish, with little regard for humanity or others' feelings.


For the most part, violence is kept to a minimum, but there are three sudden, violent, intense moments involving stabbing and/or gunshots and blood. Also, after getting hit by a pie, the main character kicks a man in the crotch.


The main character is married and has graphic sex with two other women during the course of a day. One sex act has no nudity, but the other features full-frontal female nudity (and very nearly full-frontal male nudity, but not quite). Also strong sexual tension and talk about sex throughout.


Language is very infrequent but includes one or two uses of strong words like "f--k," "t-ts," and the "N" word.


Some scenes appear to take place in or around Times Square. Some billboard advertising can be glimpsed in the corners out of the limo windows, but it's not overt.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character drinks what appears to be vodka and, later, brandy, in his limo. Cigarettes are mentioned but never produced.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cosmopolis, based on a novel by Don DeLillo, is the latest from offbeat director David Cronenberg. It's intense and complex and definitely intended for adults rather than star Robert Pattinson's Twilight-loving tween/younger teen fans, though mature teens may be interested in the film's timely themes. Sex is the biggest issue: The main character is married and sleeps with two other women over the course of one day. The sex scenes are graphic, and one features full-frontal female nudity. (Sex talk and sexual tension are pervasive throughout the film as well.) There are three sudden, shocking violent incidents involving guns, knives, and blood. Language is very infrequent but includes single uses of strong words like "f--k." And Pattinson's character drinks what appears to be vodka and brandy in two scenes, but not to drunkenness.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySynchronicity August 26, 2012

Taut thriller about the one percent is classic Cronenberg; as such, it's not for Twilight fans or young teens, who probably will get bored by it anyway

David Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors, and while Cosmopolis is by no means his best work (Crash, Videodrome and A History of Violence all take that h... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheminionshow August 17, 2017


A boring, complicated film that doesn't make sense. I really didn't enjoy it and not advised for young teens as there is a lot of sex. Really disappoi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 8, 2013

What's the story?

One day, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a 28-year-old multi-billionaire, decides to get his hair cut. This will require a trip across New York City on a day in which the U.S. president is in town and a rap star's funeral takes place, making traffic a clogged nightmare. While in his stretch limo, Packer meets with various advisors, businesspeople, and dealmakers, as well as a doctor for his daily check-up. He occasionally gets out for meals with his wife (Sarah Gadon), or for trysts with his mistresses. As the day stretches onward, Packer becomes more and more disheveled and less able to grasp his idea of perfection. Worse, it appears that someone is out to kill him. ...

Is it any good?

Adapting Don DeLillo's 2003 novel, David Cronenberg sprinkles gloriously deep, poetic, thoughtful dialogue throughout COSMOPOLIS. One of the most brilliant and potent of all modern directors, Cronenberg is fond of tackling intellectual questions -- and fascinated by the point at which intellect and the needs and functions of the human body meet. The characters mainly discuss business, money, and wealth, as well as more abstract concepts. But at the same time, the body keeps interrupting. Food, sex, sweat, and even blood come into the equation.

Ultimately, it seems that Cronenberg is curious about the humanity of the wealthy. With all their comforts and protection, it's as if they need to stretch in odd directions for input, like a plant reaching for sunlight. Whether or not he forgives them is perhaps up for interpretation. But these questions and others, in addition to a great, dreamy visual scheme and great performances, make Cosmopolis a worthwhile challenge, though not everyone will be up to it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Cosmopolis' sexual content. How does it portray sexual relationships? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • What is the movie trying to say? What is its theme? What makes it timely?

  • Is the main character a respectable, responsible person? Is he someone to be admired or emulated?

  • Why does the main character resort to violence? Why would someone want to use violence against him?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love offbeat movies

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